American Independence Day Celebrated
Tributes paid to American and Indian pioneers and patriots
Los Angeles, June 25, 2012
Gursharan Nat/ Inder Singh/// Dave Singh
India Association of Los Angeles (IALA) in collaboration with Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) organized a tribute function on Jul 4, 2012 at Royal Delhi Palace Indian Restaurant, West Hills, celebrating American Independence and Indian American Heritage and paid tribute to the pioneers, patriots and Gadar Heroes. Inder Singh, Chairman GOPIO Int’l who co-coordinated the seminar emphasized, “If we, Indian Americans, want others to know about us, then we must first know who we are.”
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---IALA president Gursharan Nat, in welcoming the attendees, said that the association has been organizing India Independence and Republic Day every year. From now on, they will add the third event, the celebration of America’s independence and tribute to Indian American pioneers on July 4. He informed the audience that IALA would be celebrating India Independence Day on August 18. Bollywood singer and music director, Bhappi Lehari will be entertaining the audience along with Sare, Gama, singers.
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The tribute function included a seminar covering the following topics.
- America’s war for Independence and its Heroes
Joyce Pearson, Candidate for LA City Council
- Early Indian Immigration and Settlement Problems
Kewal Kanda, FIA
- Struggle for U.S Citizenship - Ashok Madan, NFIA
- Political Empowerment
Dinesh Lakhanpal, IALA
- Indian Community Contributions to India and USA
Dilip Butani, Indian Community of Southern California
- Gadar Movement – Attempt to Free India from the British
Pritam Singh, IALA
- Gadar Centennial Commemoration–Inder Singh, GOPIO
The seminar was followed by a lively interactive Q&A segment.
First seminar speaker was Joyce Pearson who talked about the struggle for gaining independence from the Britishers and recalled the sacrifices of American heroes, patriots and pioneers. Kewal Kanda gave a brief account of problems which early Indian immigrants encountered. He also talked about the discrimination and bigotry faced by the Indian nationals in the beginning in the US. Ashok Madan gave detailed account of the struggle which Indians had to wage in getting the right of citizenship in this country. Dinesh Lakhanpal talked about the necessity of getting involved in the political process in this country. He suggested active involvement of the Indian community to gain political empowerment. Dilip Butani talked about the many contributions of Indian Americans to their motherland as also to the country of their adoption. He mentioned names of many Indian philanthropists who have donated millions for various causes in India and the US. Pritam Singh talked about the sacrifices of Indians who had come to the United States either as students or for economic opportunities but instead decided to go back to India and fight for the independence of their motherland. Inder Singh reminded the audience that next year will the centennial of the Gadar movement. He urged that we should all join enthusiastically to celebrate it and pay tribute to our heroes. He also mentioned that efforts have already started to commemorate the centennial throughout the USA, Canada, India and in many other countries. He urged the audience to become part of the Los Angeles Gadar Centennial Committee.
IALA Chairman Bobby Kumar thanked the attendees and all the speakers. He said that history of Indians in the United States could only be taught through such seminars. He particularly thanked Inder Singh who has been organizing seminars, writing articles for print media and reaches out larger audience through TV networks to impart history lessons to the Indian American community. Bobby Kumar also thanked sponsors Gursharan Nat, Ravi Grewal, Iqbal Samra, Satish Tomar and Kumar Jawa.